Today, in the context of an insult, I was told that my “conversion to liberalism is complete”. Now I will admit that I am fairly “liberal” but I also hold what I believe to be a healthy mix of liberal, conservative and common sense views. My question though, is when did being liberal become an insult? In 1620, a group of people who were considered fairly liberal for their time embarked on a dangerous and unknown journey into a new world to escape religious persecution and practice religion how they saw fit. In the late 1700’s, a group of patriots, largely considered liberal in comparison to their monarch across the Atlantic, sought and gained freedom for the 13 colonies. In the 1850’s and 1860’s, a group of individuals considered liberal for their time freed the slaves. Throughout the industrial revolution and into the mechanical boom period, groups of liberals fought and died for labor laws that still protect us to this very day. In 1920, a group of liberals mobilized women around the country and got them the right to vote. In 1935, a liberal got us social security and disability benefits so that we wouldn’t have to work ourselves to death or die in poverty if we were too injured to work. Throughout the 50’s and 60’s, liberals fought and died to ensure that an African American citizen had the same rights as a white citizen. And through 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and now, liberals have never stopped fighting for things like marriage equality, gender equality, pay equality and an immeasurable number of other noble causes. Without “liberals”, a majority of the people who might read this post would have otherwise not even been allowed to. Throughout history, progressive liberals have stood in the face of tyranny for the advancement of humankind. And they were met with hostility at every turn by establishment corruption and control under the guise of “conservatism”. Liberals have stood arm in arm with conservatives to fight and die in defense of this great nation. Liberals have fought for the rights of men and women everywhere against a multitude of different forms of corruption and evil. There are just as many great liberal patriots as there are great conservative patriots. So I will gladly pick that “liberal badge” up from the floor to which it has been thrown and I will wear it with pride. If standing for the causes I’ve mentioned here make me a liberal, then damn it, I’m proud to be one!
Harlan Raleigh 2-4-2018